The group of volunteers operating under the Community Development Committee (CDC) in Linstead, St Catherine, soaked up glowing tributes recently as it celebrated 20 years of voluntary service to the community.
It has been a standout among the many CDCs registered with Government, said Omar Frith, Deputy Executive Director of the Social Development Commission, which registers and partly funds CDCs.
“When we completed the community incentives and awards programme last year, we would have seen Linstead walking away with many [awards], and I reminded persons that – among the 519 CDCs, you were one that stands out as an example. You are not just a CDC on paper,” Frith declared during a Linstead CDC anniversary event, which was held on January 31 at the Community Resource Centre near Linstead Police Station.
Frith noted that, among the accomplishments of the Linstead CDC are the establishment of an office from which it operates, the launch of a scholarship programme for CXC students, the adoption of a basic school, and the establishment of several partnerships.
“The accomplishments that you have made over the 20-year period, is quite remarkable…” Frith told the Linstead CDC headed by Devon Smith. “There is no money on earth that can pay for the service you render to your communities,” he added.
Representative of the Linstead Police Station, Inspector Donovan Cassells, lauded the Linstead CDC for, among other things, its contribution towards the upkeep of the station.
“A better community with the volunteerism makes the job easier for us…” he posited. The law enforcer further advised: “They say life is short. So, the time we have here, we should try and make a difference.”
In the meantime, President of the Linstead Development Area Committee, Hopeton Henry, said the work being done by the Linstead CDC is far-reaching and should be emulated elsewhere.
“When you consider the impact that a community organization like the Linstead CDC has on community development; this is considered great,” Henry said, adding: “The impact that it has on the economic life, the cultural life, the social life and the development of the area in general is very positive; it is very important. If the work of this organization were to be replicated around this island, Jamaica would be a much better place.”
Councillor for the Linstead Division, Herbert Garriques, who said he became a volunteer 49 years ago, urged the volunteers in earshot to continue giving of their best even when their work at times does not seem appreciated. “Even though some of us on earth not giving you the volunteers the praises that you deserve, just keep on pressing and never stop volunteering,” he appealed.
Other speakers at the event included Councillor for the Treadways Division Sydney Rose, Field Supervisor for the Social Development Committee Lloyd Erskin, and Avis Harvey from the Rotary Club of North St Catherine.
Here are some of the moments captured on camera:
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